Friday, November 4, 2016
Angel's Blade Strike Force: Command Formations
The first Command Formation is the Golden Host, which is composed of either the Sanguinor or Commander Dante and 2-5 units of Sanguinary Guard. This is already a good Formation, as the only weak unit is the Sanguinor, and he can be traded out for the amazing Commander Dante. Airborne Assault requires the Formation to arrive via Deep Strike but allows you to choose when the Golden Host arrives, starting on turn 2. When they do arrive, they can re-roll their Deep Strike scatter dice. Add to this Glory of Sanguinius, which allows the Golden Host to assault on the turn they Deep Strike but count as making a disordered charge, and you have a really excellent Formation.
The Golden Host is our second Formation that can assault from Deep Strike, and their special rules cover all of the weakness found in the Archangels Orbital Intervention Force. Airborne Assault allows you to control when and where they arrive, and if you take Dante as your Warlord, they will arrive even more accurately. 1D6" scatter with a re-roll is absurdly accurate. This makes the Formation completely self-sufficient, making it much more attractive. Dante also gives one of the squads Hit and Run, so they can break away from their initial combat and charge back in without being disordered. Sanguinor's extra attack aura could also be useful for this Formation, but Dante just brings so much to the Golden Host that I wouldn't ever field it without him. I expect the Golden Host to show up in the majority of competitive Blood Angel armies from now on.
Your second option is the Leaders of the Angelic Host, which is the generic not-a-Formation option. It allows you to add a Terminator Captain, Captain Tycho, Librarian, Mephiston, Sanguinary Priest, or Brother Corbulo, as well as a Command Squad and a Stormraven. You'll generally take this when you want a Librarian or Sanguinary Priest, as they're not available in any of the other Formations. It also is the only way to take a single Stormraven.
The final option is Chapter Ancients, which is composed of 3-5 Librarian Dreadnoughts, Dreadnoughts, or Furioso Dreadnoughts. These guys have Well-timed Blow, which allows you to choose to give up your movement on a single turn to either take an extra round of shooting or fight an extra round of close combat. The Dreadnoughts can still shoot and fight again later in the turn. Doubling your firepower or number of attacks in a turn are obviously excellent bonuses, but there are some extra niche benefits in assault. If your Dreadnought is locked in assault with a small unit at the beginning of your turn, you can choose to attack during movement, potentially wipe out his opponents and free the Dreadnought to assault a new target later in the turn. That's the closest to consolidating between combats that we're likely to get. If you like Dreadnoughts, this is a good Formation for you.